Be vigilant and constructive, not angry and destructive

There has been a lot of anger expressed from last week’s publication of the Grand Jury Report. In trying again to sift through the emotions and indignation against these crimes and trying to make sense of these horrific sins, I find myself frustrated by this rugged road and thinking about the same reaction of Jesus to the temple marketers. I can identify with his righteous anger and I hear the words of Saint Paul, “Watch carefully how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise ones…do not be led into debauchery.”

I am not angry at the Church; the Church is the Body of Christ, Whom I love with all my heart. I am angry at those bishops and priests who have betrayed themselves and the people they were sent, not to abuse, but to serve. I feel somewhat helpless to have prevented these crimes that happened before I was born or when I was a newly ordained priest, but, I know that I can do my best to prevent them now. So, here in this parish we are vigilant with our children and our processes to make sure everyone is safe. I do have an anger that is righteous.

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by Father Cioppi

FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE AND ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Archbishop Chaput’s address the new Grand Jury reports on a new Archdiocesan website.  The website begins:

“TO THE VICTIMS AND SURVIVERS OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE AT THE HAND OF ANYONE AFFILIATED WITH THE CHURCH, WE ARE DEEPLY SORRY.”

To read more from the Archbishop, please click on the link shown below:

https://view.winstormdp.com/AOP/13/website

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by Susan Dugary

Come on out to the Community Carnival


Tonight (Saturday) is the last night of the 2018 Community Carnival!

August 14th through the 18th

6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

This year we have a new vendor for our carnival rides – Houghton Enterprises is happy to be present at the Community Carnival.   New this year:  WRISTBAND NIGHT – EVERY NIGHT!

We hope to see you on the carnival grounds!

Click on our “Fundraising” tab for complete information on the carnival and to volunteer for open positions.  We particularly need help on Friday and Saturday evenings.

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by Susan Dugary

The Eucharist: Source ans Summit of the Christian Life

Deacon Greg’s Homily from Sunday, August 12th

Do you ever identify with the people you encounter in Sacred Scripture?  Following some of the recent events in the news, I’ve been feeling like Elijah in today’s first reading: the accusations of sexual abuse within 6 diocese in Pennsylvania and similar accusations against a prominent Cardinal in the Catholic Church; The suicides of celebrities who appeared to have had it all; the more than 160 drug overdoses in one weekend in Philadelphia.  For anyone whose life has been touched by scandal, suicide, substance abuse, the news of such events can bring back horrific memories that reopen old wounds.  If your life hasn’t been directly affected by one of these or similar hardships you most certainly know someone whose life as been.  At some point in our lives all of us have moments when we identify with Elijah and cry out…”Enough, O LORD!  Enough!”  We might come to Mass looking for strength to remain hopeful in the midst of suffering amongst our friends, our family or maybe even ourselves.  The answer that the Church gives us and highlights over five Sundays during this period of Ordinary Time….the Eucharist.

Now don’t misunderstand me.  The Eucharist is not magic.   Receiving Holy Communion won’t magically make our problems disappear.   If it did, could you imagine the crowds that we’d have coming to Mass?  You’d have to come hours ahead of time to get into the church!  The Eucharist comes down from heaven to strengthen us on our earthly journey.   And it lifts us back up so that we might participate in God’s divine life.  In the words of the 2nd Vatican Council,  “The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Christian life.”  The Eucharist gives us hope and sustenance, especially in troubled times. Continue reading

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by Susan Dugary

“I am the Bread of Life,” but do you believe?

There is a story about a poor woman named Faith, walking down a busy city street. She notices that a wealthy woman has lost her purse and can’t pay for a daily newspaper. Faith reaches into her pocket and pays the vendor.

The rich woman is dumbfounded and insists that the vendor give the money back. Faith grabs the rich woman’s arm and says: “Can’t you just let me do something now and then-to stretch the soul?

The virtue of Faith helps us understand our place in the world. It helps us when we see injustice, arrogance, poverty and sinfulness in ourselves and gives us the ability to change, no matter how often we fall or how low, for the love of Jesus.

The essence of the Christian life is the awareness that I have a specific relationship with the Blessed Trinity from which I don’t want to be separated but towards which, in some mysterious way, I am always attracted. So when Jesus says, ‘I am the Bread of Life,’ do I really believe?

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by Father Cioppi

“Each of us are chosen to serve the purposes of God”

Each of us is created uniquely to serve the purposes of God; to fulfill the dreams He has for us to share His Glory.

So, our lives are not only our own but really a reflection of the divine life into which we have been called. The beauty of our life rests in the fact that we have the freedom to say, ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to that dream. Our ‘yes’ to God frees us to enjoy the purpose, dignity and integrity of our individual human life as well as humanity itself. Saint Paul urges us ‘to live in a manner worthy of the call’ we have received, ‘with all humility and gentleness.’

Jesus realizes we need to be supported and nurtured. We need to be solidly established in the sacramental life of the Church. That’s why He puts so much significance to Sunday Worship. Jesus tells the Apostles to have the crowd sit down and rest together. In this way, He expresses to us the need to belong to one Body, one Spirit, one Hope.

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by Father Cioppi

50th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae


Encyclical of Pope Paul VI

ON THE REGULATION OF BIRTH

To His Venerable Brothers the Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops and other Local Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See, to the Clergy and Faithful of the Whole Catholic World, and to All Men of Good Will.

Honored Brothers and Dear Sons, Health and Apostolic Benediction.

The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator.  It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships.

The fulfillment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions.  The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings.

1. PROBLEM AND COMPETENCY OF THE MAGISTERIUM

2. The changes that have taken place are of considerable importance and varied in nature.   In the first place there is the rapid increase in population which has made many fear that world population is going to grow faster than available resources, with the consequence that many families and developing countries would be faced with greater hardships.   This can easily induce public authorities to be tempted to take even harsher measures to avert this danger.  There is also the fact that not only working and housing conditions but the greater demands made both in the economic and educational field pose a living situation in which it is frequently difficult these days to provide properly for a large family.

Also noteworthy is a new understanding of the dignity of woman and her place in society, of the value of conjugal love in marriage and the relationship of conjugal acts to this love.

But the most remarkable development of all is to be seen in man’s stupendous progress in the domination and rational organization of the forces of nature to the point that he is endeavoring to extend this control over every aspect of his own life – over his body, over his mind and emotions, over his social life, and even over the laws that regulate the transmission of life.

New Questions

3.  This new state of things gives rise to new questions.  Granted the conditions of life today and taking into account the relevance of married love to the harmony and mutual fidelity of husband and wife, would it not be right to review the moral norms in force till now, especially when it is felt that these can be observed only with the gravest difficulty, sometimes only by heroic effort?

Moreover, if one were to apply here the so called principle of totality, could it not be accepted that the intention to have a less prolific but more rationally planned family might transform an action which renders natural processes infertile into a licit and provident control of birth?  Could it not be admitted, in other words, that procreative finality applies to the totality of married life rather than to each single act?  A further question is whether, because people are more conscious today of their responsibilities, the time has not come when the transmission of life should be regulated by their intelligence and will rather than through the specific rhythms of their own bodies. Continue reading

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by Susan Dugary

“Beside restful waters He leads me.”

When the disciples returned from their mission, so many people were after them, that Jesus took the disciples with Him to be alone and quiet. Here we see what might be called the rhythm of the Christian life. For the Christian, life is a continuous going into the presence of God from the world, and then going out into the world from the presence of God. It is like the rhythm of sleep and work. We cannot work efficiently or well unless we have enough sleep. Sleep will not be sound unless we have worked well and long.

This rhythm reveals two dangers in life. There is the danger of having a too active life. And, there is the danger that in all this activity, we could lose our way home. No person can work without rest and no Christian can rest unless he gives himself to God.

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by Father Cioppi

You are My Prophet

Today’s readings send out a call all Christians to preach the word of God to the world. In the first reading we find Amos delivering God’s message in a foreign land. Amos made it clear this was not his life’s calling. “I’m no prophet,” he said, “I’m just a shepherd.” In the Gospel, Jesus sends his ill-prepared apostles on the mission of bringing His truth to those who will listen. God knew what he was doing in carefully choosing those men even though they weren’t preachers by trade.

Both Amos and the apostles knew they would be confronted by people who found it hard to accept the truth. Amos was thrown out of Bethel and told to go back to where he came from. Likewise, Jesus warned his apostles that many people would not welcome their preaching. They would be ridiculed and turned away for bearing God’s message. When that happened, Our Lord told them to shake the dust off their feet and continue-on with their mission.

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There is a way out of envy

If you look up the word ‘envy’ in the dictionary, it means ‘A feeling of resentment aroused by a desire for the possessions or qualities of another.’ If envy goes unchecked, it can destroy everything we love and care for.

The Olympics date back to the Greek games held on the plains of Olympus in 776 BC. Ancient towns often honored the victorious with statues. One day an envious loser rocked the statue of his opponent until it fell. The problem was, the statue fell the wrong way and crushed him to death.

There are times when we can feel envious of a new car, new kitchen, a better promotion and these feelings can overwhelm us. Envy is a grave sin and thus leads you into a self-absorbed obsession that blocks out reality and the true dignity of another person.

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by Father Cioppi